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 TeasersJohn Derbyshire Blogview

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[Excerpted from the latest Radio Derb, now available exclusively through]

America is going through a Cultural Revolution, but we counter revolutionaries can draw some instruction and perhaps encouragement from the fact that this drama has been played out before, in China from 1966 to 1976.

We shouldn’t get too carried away with the comparison. There are of course important differences between China’s Cultural Revolution and ours. Most importantly, Mao’s China was monoracial, or effectively so. The key battles of his Cultural Revolution were fought over class, whereas in ours the central issue is race.

That doesn’t mean we are fighting a race war, any more than Mao’s Red Guards were fighting a class war. When China’s Cultural Revolution started, the Communist Party had held total power for seventeen years. Capitalism had been pretty thoroughly stamped out, just as anti-black discrimination has long since disappeared from American life.

But Mao told his followers that “bourgeois elements” were at work in the party, trying to restore capitalism. Similarly, our own ruling class say that reactionary whites are plotting to restore “white supremacy,” which I think means Jim Crow laws.

Both those story lines are preposterous on the face of it; but when you have total control of public information, as Mao had and our elites very nearly have, you can get enough people to believe preposterosities.

And so you get these Cold Civil Wars, with bogus story lines in support of what are really just power struggles. In China the war was within the Communist Party, Maoists versus reformers; in the U.S.A. it’s among whites, the Wokes versus the Normals, Goodwhites versus Badwhites.

The real stakes being fought for in both cases are power. Mao could not tolerate any opposition to his schemes. Our own Managerial State feels the same way.

There were spells of heat in both of the Cold Civil Wars. The revolutionary center enlists fired up young radicals to burn and loot, to topple statues, destroy all evidence of the past, and chase down counter revolutionaries, without any punishment. In China it was the Red Guards; in America, it’s BLM and Antifa.

As I said, you can’t take the parallels too far. The People’s Liberation Army, for example, was a more important factor in China’s Cultural Revolution than the U.S. armed forces are likely to be in ours.

Still, a study of what was happening in China fifty years ago clarifies what is happening here today, and may help us counter revolutionaries in our strategizing.

No one is more aware of all this than Chinese people who actually lived through Mao’s Cultural Revolution. One of them stepped forward this week at a public meeting of the Loudoun County School Board in Virginia.

Loudoun is the richest county in the U.S.A., with an estimated average household income of almost $118,000. This is government money we’re talking about: Leesburg, the county seat, is just thirty miles from the White House. Ruling class of the Managerial State? Oh yeah.

The county school board has been facing some opposition from parents recently. The teaching of Critical Race Theory has of course been one issue; another was the suspension of an elementary school teacher for believing, on religious grounds, that males and females are biologically different [Virginia teacher placed on leave after speech disputing ‘biological boy can be a girl and vice versa’, by Sam Dorman, Fox News, May 28, 2021]. (A judge has ordered the teacher to be reinstated.)

At a school board meeting on Tuesday, one of the parents attending, a lady named Xi Van Fleet, made an eloquent one-minute speech.

Ms. Van Fleet grew up in Mao’s China and remembers the Cultural Revolution there. Here’s what she had to say.

The lady has some Chinese accent still and the recording quality wasn’t very good, so for clarity I’ll just repeat here what she said.


I’ve been very alarmed about what’s going on in our schools. You are now teaching, training our children to be Social Justice Warriors, and to loathe our country and our history.

Growing up in Mao’s China, all this seems very familiar. The communist regime used the same Critical Theory to divide people. The only difference is, they used class instead of race.

During the Cultural Revolution I witnessed students and teachers turn against each other. We changed school names to be politically correct. We were taught to denounce our heritage. The Red Guards destroyed anything that is not communist: old statues, books, and anything else.

We [were] also encouraged to report on each other, just like the Student Equity Ambassadors program and the bias reporting system. This is indeed [the] American version of the Chinese communist … the Chinese Cultural Revolution.

The Critical Race Theory has its roots in Cultural Marxism. It should have no place in our schools.


I’ve been telling myself for twenty years that America’s ongoing Cultural Revolution couldn’t get any worse. But year by year it has gotten worse. The Red Guards now control all our major media outlets, including of course Social Media, and the entire educational system, public and private, from kindergarten to the Ivy League. This new Biden Administration has radicalized the federal government, too: the judiciary, the agencies, even the military have all been put in the hands of Red Guards.

What is it, this poisonous weed, this kudzu smothering our culture and silencing some of our smartest and most eloquent voices?

Well, if you’ve been paying attention, you’ll know that a central concept in the revolutionary mindset, a central target of the Red Guards, is whiteness.

So, in hopes of improving our understanding, let’s take a short trip down Anti Whiteness Lane.

My starting point here: a group discussion broadcast by MSNBC on Morning Joe, June 8, 2021. There were five people in the discussion, four whites and a token mulatto lady named Mara Gay. Of the four whites, two were MSNBC Woke Bots whose names are vaguely familiar to me; I don’t know who the other two were.

The mulatto lady, Ms. Gay [Tweet her] is a prominent Regime Media journalist: a columnist at the New York Times and a member of that newspaper’s Editorial Board.

That’s pretty damn good at age 34. Given her color, we are of course bound to suspect that Ms. Gay was raised to that height like a sailplane by warm thermals of Affirmative Action.

We shouldn’t hold that against her, though. If you or I had a touch of the tar brush and saw the opportunity to attain a high six-figure salary by taking advantage of ruling class Goodwhites hating on working and middle class Badwhites, perhaps we’d seize that opportunity too.

Permit me to explicate yet again what’s going on in our culture. It’s a Cold Civil War between two big groups of white people: Goodwhites, who have good, Correct, humanitarian opinions, and Badwhites, who have bad, wrong, hateful opinions.

Nonwhites are sometimes handy as auxiliaries, to groom the horses or dig field latrines. But nobody of any importance cares what they think or listens to what they say. Their main purpose is to serve as tokens of Goodwhite virtue.

Self-identifying blacks like this mulatto lady from the New York Times are given prestigious jobs and extravagant salaries by the Ruling Class elites as a way to emphasize Goodwhite goodness. When Badwhites mock them, as I’m doing here at some length, that just illustrates Badwhite badness. Goodwhites consider blacks to be sacred objects; to mock a black midwit like Ms. Gay is blasphemy.

The principle of tokenism here is so entrenched in our culture nowadays, it’s seeped out from the Goodwhite zone into the Badwhite borderlands.

Take Tucker Carlson, for example, who is hated hated hated by Goodwhites, but who would never never never invite Jared Taylor on his show, or Colin Flaherty, or Stefan Molyneux. The opinionators Carlson does invite on his show include a high proportion of nonconformist blacks, people like Candace Owens and Robert Woodson.

God bless them all, I mean really—or as Tucker would say, sincerely—but the proportion is way more than the thirteen percent Black share of the U.S. population. Disparate Impact there, Tucker. Let’s see some equity!

So yeah: There was this MSNBC group discussion. The sense of the meeting was that those Badwhite protestors who had put up their feet on Nancy Pelosi’s desk and taken selfies in the Senate chamber should be publicly boiled in oil, and then shot.

To be fair, though, the discussion ranged wider than that. There was much talk about the need for an investigation, to be carried out by the federal government’s spotlessly impartial intelligence agencies, its conclusions then approved by that same government’s unimpeachably independent Justice Department.

And of course, the root causes must be dealt with.


See also John Derbyshire: ChiComs Rewrite Tiananmen Square History Better Than Biden On Tulsa

Besides the Tiananmen Square Anniversary, Monday and Tuesday marked the centenary of the 1921 race riot in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Our president actually went to Tulsa on Tuesday to give one of his embarrassing, incoherent speeches.

I didn’t know much about the 1921 race riot in Tulsa before Joe Biden’s Tulsa speech, so I did some Googling.

As best I can gather, the triggering event was the arrest of a young black man, a shoe-shine boy named Dick Rowland, on suspicion of having assaulted a young white girl in an elevator she was operating. Whether he did commit assault or not is unclear; the girl didn’t press charges. The young man was taken in custody anyway, and rumors went round the town that he was going to be lynched.

That got both whites and blacks stirred up: whites congregated at the local courthouse, presumably to either see a lynching or participate in one, and armed blacks showed up to defend their guy. I’m not clear how well-armed the whites were.

A fight ensued, and the blacks got much the better of it. Twelve people were left dead, ten whites and two blacks. That infuriated whites. They generated a mob that burned the black part of town, until the state National Guard came in next morning, June 1st.

The butcher’s bill is much disputed. Solidly confirmed fatalities were 39, 26 black and 13 white. [Report on Tulsa Race Riot of 1921, February 2001] That means one in three of those confirmed fatalities was white; and since the whole event was triggered by a fight that left ten dead whites and only two dead blacks, the word “massacre” is totally inappropriate; it was a race riot. I note in passing that one of the cops who took Rowland into custody was black.

Monday and Tuesday also marked the centenary of the 1921 race riot in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Our president actually went to Tulsa on Tuesday to give one of his embarrassing, incoherent speeches.

Our correspondent Kenn Gividen here at has put the Tulsa riot in the context of a low-level race war going on in the U.S.A from 1917 to 1923, with lethal race riots in Missouri, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Texas, Florida, Illinois, and elsewhere. Hundreds of lives were lost, both black and white. The trigger in nearly every case, says Gividen, was black-on-white crime.

You would never know any of that from Joe Biden’s Tuesday speech. Sample quote, concerning the Tulsa fatalities: “the likely number is much more than the multiple of hundreds. Untold bodies dumped into mass graves …”. The grammar there is Joe’s, not mine.

That’s nonsense, of course. The whole speech was nonsense—a long recitation of the wickedness and malice of white people, and the terrible burdens endured by blacks that have held them back from accumulating wealth. His administration, said Joe, is going to correct all those injustices and bring black wealth up to the level of white wealth. Sure, Joe, sure.

For goodness sake! There are plenty of blacks far wealthier than me, a few maybe even wealthier than Joe Biden. What keeps blacks-in-the-generality from equality of wealth with whites-in-the-generality is their racial characteristics, especially low average intelligence and high average criminality.

My main reaction, reading through Biden’s speech, was to wonder how much longer whites will tolerate all these libels, insults, and lies, and what will happen when we stop tolerating them.


See also John Derbyshire: Biden Rewrites History In Tulsa

Monday and Tuesday marked the centenary of the 1921 race riot in Tulsa, Oklahoma, above. Thursday and Friday saw the 32nd anniversary of the Chinese reform movement’s crushing in Peking’s Tiananmen Square.

When it comes to rewriting history our báizuŏ, our Tutsi ruling class of self-hating whites, do their best, but they are no match for the ChiComs.

Thursday-Friday this week marked the 32nd anniversary of the killings in Peking’s Tiananmen Square, when the ChiComs crushed the reform movement that had roiled China for several weeks prior. The death toll there is unknown and unknowable; plausible estimates are in the high hundreds.

It’s been largely forgotten now how widespread was the desire for reform in China back then. It wasn’t just a few young malcontents that were fed up with corruption and lack of freedom; there was institutional support for reform in the party, and even in the army.

Zhào Zĭyáng, who was the General Secretary of the Communist Party, took the side of the reformers. Xú Qínxiān, the general commanding the 38th Group Army that defended Peking, when he was ordered to mobilize against the protestors, refused.

They both suffered for their integrity. Zhào spent the rest of his life under house arrest in Peking. He died in 2005. General Xú got five years in jail and a permanent ban from Peking. He died in January this year, unrepentant. Quote from him: “I’d rather lose my head than be a criminal in the eyes of history.”

Most to the point, they have both been thoroughly unpersoned — or, as we say nowadays, canceled. Among educated Chinese people under the age of thirty, I doubt if one in five recognizes the name Zhào Zĭyáng; for General Xú Qínxiān, it would be more like one in a hundred.

And the crushing of the reform movement on June 3rd-4th, 1989 has been completely memory-holed. Young Chinese people, even quite well-educated ones, know nothing about it.

Chris Chappell over at the China Uncensored vlog on YouTube had some fun with this on Wednesday.

You need to know that the Chinese Communist Party is coming up to a huge celebration on July 1st to commemorate its founding a hundred years ago. There have been all sorts of media events in the run-up to July 1st. Chris describes one of them.

Clip: Here’s a poster series of key events during the party’s 100-year path to glory. They’re doing one poster for each year since 1921.

Like: In 1987 the poster is about the 13th National Congress. In 1988 it’s about the establishment of the Hainan Special Economic Zone. And in 1990, it’s about the opening of the Shanghai Stock Exchange.

Well, that’s odd. The posters go from 1988 straight to 1990; there’s no poster for 1989. I guess nothing important happened in China in 1989.

Now that’s real, professional-level rewriting of history. Poor old Joe Biden just looks like a bumbling amateur by comparison.

Can’t we do better? After all, the Biden administration, just like the ChiComs, draws inspiration from Marxism. At any rate the flying of Black Lives Matter banners by our embassies abroad, as reported by Radio Derb last week, was fully approved, perhaps actually ordered by Biden’s State Department; and the co-founder of Black Lives Matter, as I also reported last week, describes herself as a Marxist.

I’d be highly surprised if there were not other self-described Marxists in, or actively adjacent to, the Biden administration.

If rewriting history is, at it seems to be, a Marxist thing, how come China’s Marxists are so much better at it than our Marxists? If the ChiComs can so thoroughly memory-hole the Chinese people killed by their own army in June of 1989, why can’t Biden’s people memory-hole those white people killed by blacks in the Tulsa riot 68 years earlier?

My fellow Americans, we face a memory-hole gap …


[Excerpted from the latest Radio Derb, now available exclusively through]

Earlier this year I read Christopher Caldwell’s very striking book The Age of Entitlement: America Since the Sixties. Caldwell argued that the reforms of the 1960s, which seemed necessary and humane at the time to correct obvious injustices, had serious negative consequences, leading eventually to many of the issues that so divide and anger us today. A powerful and brilliant essay by political scientist Richard Hanania has just followed up on this insight.

Caldwell instanced the SCOTUS ruling in Griggs v. Duke Power Co. (1971). A core issue in the case, though not the only one: Could that North Carolina power plant give aptitude tests for purposes of hiring and promotion, given that blacks failed these tests at much higher rates than whites? The Supremes, with Chief Justice Burger (needless to say, a Nixon appointee) writing the majority opinion, ruled unanimously that they couldn’t.

Caldwell commented:

The Griggs decision made clear that the government was now authorized to act against racism even if there was no evidence of any racist intent. This was an opening to arbitrary power. And once arbitrary power is conferred, it matters little what it was conferred for.

The Griggs case duly features in Hanania’s essay:

An important watershed was the decision in Griggs v. Duke Power Co. (1971), in which the Supreme Court ruled that intelligence tests, because they were not shown to be directly related to job performance, could not be used in hiring since blacks scored lower on them, and it did not matter whether there was any intent to discriminate. People act as if “standardized tests are racist if they show disparities” is some kind of new idea, but it’s basically been the law in the United States for 50 years, albeit inconsistently enforced.

Woke Institutions is Just Civil Rights Law: Why Conservatives Won’t (and Can’t) Fight for Influence, and What to Do About It.

Follow-up to “Why is Everything Liberal?” and “2016: The Turning Point,” by Richard Hanania,, June 1, 2021

Hanania’s essay is my Opinion Column of the Month, if not the year. He traces what we now call “Wokeness” back to the good intentions and resulting laws of the 1960s—most obviously the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

That act was meant to combat intentional discrimination; but as the Griggs decision showed, the goalposts were easily shifted to cover any kind of unequal outcome, what today’s Wokesters call “inequity.” Intent need not necessarily have anything to do with it. That, as Christopher Caldwell wrote, was “an opening to arbitrary power.” It meant Affirmative Action a.k.a. anti-white quotas.

The genius of Hanania’s essay is that it tracks the progress of that arbitrary power through first the courts, then government bureaucracies, all the way into the private sector.

The target of the enforcers here—of the judges, the regulatory bureaucrats, and the law firms hovering over private companies looking for noncompliance—is Disparate Impact: evidence that some one group, or a representative member of it, is at a disadvantage relative to another in some situation.

No proof of intent is required, only “inequity,” unequal outcomes.

Nor is the scope of the inequity limited to race. It was from the beginning understood to apply also to sex, so that women were a Designated Victim Group along with blacks.

Then sexual orientation was folded in; and more recently, transsexualism.

As the judges, the bureaucrats, and the law firms gathered more and more of that “arbitrary power” that Caldwell warned against, the concept of a “hostile work environment” came up, with lethal consequences for freedom of speech. If just one person in a workplace takes exception to something a coworker says, there’s a big fat lawsuit right there.

If Richard Hanania’s essay is my is my Opinion Column of the Month, then my Chart of the Month is one reproduced in the essay that he has borrowed from a book titled Inventing Equal Opportunity by Harvard sociologist Frank Dobbin.

The chart concerns “Personnel Management”—the dread Human Resources [HR] departments, how they grew through the last half of the 20th century (and how they tipped strongly female):


Charles Murray’s FACING REALITY

If you belong to the fast-dwindling demographic that believes in objective truth, you will like Charles Murray’s new book, pub date June 15: Facing Reality: Two Truths about Race in America.

Murray writes two distinctly different kinds of book, long and short. In the long books (most recently Human Diversity) Murray gives full rein to his passion for data, and for the deep truths hidden in big datasets. The shorter books, like his 2008 Real Education, are more journalistic and less challenging for a reader not well-acquainted with statistics.

(And I just noticed, looking up Real Education for the link, that its full title includes the word “reality,” just as this new book’s title does. Charles Murray, like your genial diarist, clings to a fusty, absurdly old-fashioned belief in objective reality quite independent of our feelings, wo wo wo feelings.)

This latest Murray book is one of the shorts: 125 pages of main text, with three pages of introduction, twenty pages of endnotes, four pages of maps, and a five-page index. There are several tables and a small handful of graphs (this one my favorite);

but not much heavy-duty quantitative analysis—little enough that a math-challenged reader can skip over it without serious loss.

Neither of the two truths in Murray’s title will surprise readers. In the author’s own words, from the book’s introduction:

The first is that American Whites, Blacks, Latinos, and Asians, as groups, have different means and distributions of cognitive ability. The second is that American Whites, Blacks, Latinos, and Asians, as groups, have different rates of violent crime.

Our public culture seems incapable of dealing with these facts other than by denial and dishonesty: “The assailant was described as a heavy-set male of about thirty, wearing a red jacket …” Hence the social stresses and strains we are all wearily familiar with.

What is to be done? Murray’s prescription is civic nationalism. We can all get along, he says, if we will just stay true to the principles on which our nation was founded and face reality.

You can applaud that—and I do—as coming from a generous, good-hearted patriot and seeker after truth. You can also mock it—and many on our side of the fence surely will—as a naive civ-nat “bravery signaller” murmuring emollient words into a howling gale of unreason.

What, after all, will be the united response to Murray’s two truths, assuming they deign to notice them, from all the commanding heights of our culture—from the media, the academy, the churches, all three branches of government? SYSTEMIC RACISM! LEGACY OF SLAVERY! SOCIAL CONSTRUCT! WHITE SUPREMACY! PRIVILEGE! BIGOT! BURN THE WITCH!

The great mass of people don’t share Murray’s enthusiasm for data, for facts, for careful empirical inquiry. They have no patience with z-scores and correlation coefficients. They are not interested in objective reality unless it grows their food or powers their gadgets. They want magic and religion. They want drama: saints and martyrs, heroes and villains, Good versus Evil.

In the Western world today those universal inclinations are directed by the widespread desire among white people, especially white women, to kneel and abase themselves before other races, to denounce their own ancestors and belittle all their achievements.

In the human realm, that is reality.

A dramatic rise in risk aversion

As mentioned in my May 14th podcast, I get emails grumbling that I don’t say half as much as I should about the covid pandemic.

I put it down to my native fatalism, which (I said) I think is common in people of my generation, perhaps especially English people.

Flu pandemics are, to those of our inclination, just part of the unavoidable background of life, like the weather. You don’t take foolhardy chances with them, any more than you go out without an umbrella when it’s raining, but you get on with your life and don’t make a fuss about them.

Whatever the reason, I can’t be much bothered with the pandemic. When I do my morning scan of the news sources after breakfast, I skip over the covid news. It’s not interesting to me.


Earlier by John Derbyshire (June 6, 2020) I Will Not Genuflect To This Church Of Antiracism

If you know any Shakespeare at all, you know the speech that Henry the Fifth gave to rally his troops at the battle of Agincourt. It ends with the words: “Cry God for Harry, England, and Saint George!” There’s another Harry in the British Royal Family today, but he’s not Agincourt material. If we don’t have much of a Harry, though, we at least have a Saint George—the Holy Blessed Martyr George Floyd, who ascended to glory one year ago this last week, to the lamentations of his nation and the enrichment of his baby mommas. But if Harry Windsor moves me to sadness, George Floyd excites only disgust.

What a disgrace to our nation that this brutish, antisocial misfit has been elevated to our pantheon of heroes, canonized in the sick cult of anti-White victimology that dominates our culture.

Say what you like about Harry Windsor, he never stuck a pistol in a woman’s belly prior to robbing her house. (Although, to be perfectly fair to Saint George, there’s nothing in the court documents about the woman being pregnant, as is sometimes said. So that’s OK then. [Background Check: Investigating George Floyd’s Criminal Record, by Jessica Lee, Snopes, June 12, 2020, Updated February 24, 2021])

Last Tuesday’s feast day of Saint George did, however, at least offer us one of the most hilarious episodes of irony in the annals of video recording. I’m referring of course to those precious clips of TV reporters diving for cover from gunfire in George Floyd Square.

I enjoyed them every bit as much as you did. So did innumerable others, to judge from the YouTube comment threads.

Here’s one of those clips from ABC News. The studio presenter here is Diane Macedo[Tweet her] a white lady. She is talking live to a black street reporter, Alex Presha [Tweet him] in George Floyd Square. And in case you don’t know, the Square is now part of an autonomous zone, into which police are not allowed.

[Clip, 2m11s

Macedo: And Alex, we know that the day is full of events to both commemorate what happened and also celebrate George Floyd’s life. So what are we expecting both there in Minneapolis and across the country?

Presha: Well, Diane, I think one real powerful moment is, you mentioned, certainly the Floyd family meeting privately with President Biden. Well, right around that time or immediately after, the governor here, Governor Walz, has signed a proclamation urging residents in Minnesota and Minneapolis to observe nine minutes and twenty-nine seconds of silence, representing the nine minutes and twenty-nine seconds that Derek Chauvin knelt on George Floyd’s neck, but …

[Sounds of gunshot.]

Hold on …

[More gunshots, background voices saying “Go! Go! … Down! Down! … Behind the engine block!”]


[“Behind the engine block!” …]

Macedo: All right, we’re going to check in with Alex in a bit. Sounds like there may be some trouble there in Minneapolis. We’re going to check back in with them. Obviously, we hope that they are safe.]

Only one person was wounded, as so often happened in black shootings. Needless to say, no arrests have been reported [1 Person Shot Near The Site Of George Floyd’s Murder On The Anniversary Of His Death, by Joe Hernandez, NPR, May 25, 2021].

So yes, the folk there in George Floyd Square were indeed celebrating the Blessed Martyr’s life in an entirely appropriate fashion.

And yes, just as the street reporter told us there, Saint George’s family members, latest winners of the Ghetto Lottery, did indeed meet with Joe Biden at the White House just about at the time their co-ethnics opened fire in George Floyd Square.

We just have to hope the president knew what was going on, and didn’t think it was a cabinet meeting.

There was of course a political angle here. There’s a new federal bill before Congress, the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, which will make it the law of the land that if a juiced-up six-foot-six 240-pound black guy doesn’t want to submit to being arrested, he durn well doesn’t have to.

The bill is currently stalled in the Senate, but the Floyd family members there in the White House Tuesday took the opportunity to promote it to the reporters present.

One of Saint George’s brothers, a chap named Philonese Floyd, offered the following argument:

If you can make federal laws to protect the bird, which is the bald eagle, you can make federal laws to protect people of color.

[George Floyd’s family meets with Biden and Harris at White House, by Kate Sullivan, CNN, May 28, 2021 ].


Earlier by Ann Coulter: “I Will Not Be Scienced”—Experts Wrong, Covid Could Have Come From Wuhan Lab After All

I have been enthusiastically promoting Nicholas Wade’s long article on the origins of the COVID virus.

Wade compares the two common theories: (a) the “wet market” theory, that the virus jumped from bats, or from bats via some intermediate host, to humans at a live-animal market in Wuhan, China, and (b) the “lab escape” theory, that the virus originated in a lab, also in Wuhan, doing research into viruses.

Wade allows that we can’t say dispositively which theory is correct; but by a judicious and thoroughly-researched sifting of the facts we do know, he leaves his reader thinking that the lab escape theory is the more probable one.

I’ll confess some partiality here. I’m a major Wade fan. I read his articles in the New York Times for years, and I’ve reviewed at least three of his books, including his 2014 race-realist book A Troublesome Inheritance. I have some slight personal acquaintance with him, too; and yes, like me he’s an immigrant from Britain.

Well, this is a brilliant piece of science journalism; and I speak as a person who’s been reading science journalism since the Eisenhower administration. Wade might be wrong on the balance of probabilities—and the article where I found it, at the website of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, has a good argumentative comment thread—but for the sifting of facts and the weighing of probabilities, this piece is a classic. [The origin of COVID: Did people or nature open Pandora’s box at Wuhan? by Nicholas Wade, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, May 5, 2021]

That sifting, that weighing, that arguing, is science at its best. It doesn’t come easily to human beings. To quote myself

Scientific objectivity is a freakish, unnatural, and unpopular mode of thought, restricted to small cliques whom the generality of citizens regard with dislike and mistrust. There is probably a sizable segment in any population that believes scientists should be rounded up and killed.

We of that freakish brotherhood just turn away wearily when we hear some fool politician or pundit with a degree in Media Studies tell us to “follow the science!” Politics and political punditry are the last places to go to for scientific understanding. You need a guide who understands how long and grueling the path to scientific certainty is.

Nicholas Wade quotes Francis Bacon, grandfather of the Scientific Revolution, quote: “Truth is the daughter not of authority but time.” End quote. We don’t believe that the Earth goes round the Sun because Copernicus said so, although he did, or because Galileo agreed with him, although he did. We believe it because we have been persuaded by thousands of pieces of evidence accumulated over hundreds of years by legions of observers sifting, weighing, and arguing.

I should say, however, that prior to Wade’s article, the most striking piece I’d read on the origins of COVID was the one by Ron Unz at his own website in March this year, arguing a third possible origin for COVID. This is (c) the “American biowarfare” theory, that the virus was developed in our own labs then deliberately let loose in China by one of our intelligence agencies.

Ron’s article is almost as long as Nicholas Wade’s, and also comes with an argumentative comment thread—975 comments when I looked just now. There are of course all sorts of objections you can raise against it, although it’s highly probable your objection has already been posed in one of those 975.

What do I think of Ron’s theory? I wouldn’t rule it out, given the lawlessness and deep stupidity of our intelligence agencies. For sure, Ron makes as good a case for it as can be made.

And it is kind of … strange that other than China’s immediate neighbors, the second country to be seriously hit by COVID was Iran, bête noire of the neocons who run those agencies. Several senior Iranian officials died of COVID. Hmm.

However, I’m temperamentally inclined to believe that, while conspiracies and plots are glamorous, dramatic, and exciting to contemplate, carelessness and error are much bigger factors in human affairs. On those grounds, and having seen up close how things are done in China, I favor the lab escape theory as most probable.

Will Francis Bacon’s principle be vindicated? With the passing of enough time, shall we one day we may know the truth of the matter? I won’t be holding my breath. To either verify or decisively eliminate the lab-escape hypothesis, for example, we’d need to have a good look at the records of the Wuhan lab in late 2019 and early 2020, and have unsupervised interviews with relevant employees.

In communist China, that won’t happen. Those records have long since been reduced to their component molecules and the ashes dumped in the Mariana Trench; those employees, in the unlikely event they survived their interrogations by the secret police, are now employed at stone quarries on the Qinghai Plateau.

It’s coming up to fifty years ago since Lin Biao, who had been Mao Tse-tung’s right-hand man, disappeared from the scene and was declared to have been a counter-revolutionary traitor. Was he? Did he really die while trying to flee China? Why was he trying to flee? After fifty years, scholars are still arguing.

If the ChiCom regime collapses, we may get to learn something new about the origin of COVID. Unfortunately there are no signs of that happening. Right now, we just don’t know.

This topic has, though, generated some good deep public debate: not from the clown show of our national politics, of course, which is not capable of engaging with anything deeper than a kiddie pool, but from smart, sane, thoughtful inquirers like Nicholas Wade and Ron Unz. Thanks to them both for their work.


[Excerpted from the latest Radio Derb, now available exclusively through]

Crisis in the Middle East! scream the headlines. After all these years—what am I saying? all these decades—editors everywhere must have the phrase “Crisis In The Middle East” set up as a single-key macro. But what they don’t have set up as a macro: “No Escape From Diversity Hell”—the mounting internal problems Israel has because it is an ethnically divided society. Of course, that might mean acknowledging that the U.S. has these problems too. And, unlike Israel, it’s importing more.

But Crisis in the Middle East! Is this week’s news; so with a sigh of weary resignation I hit the pause button on my fantasy about a mud-wrestling contest between Marjorie Taylor Greene and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (Marjorie Taylor Greene confronts Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez outside House chamber, CNN, May 13, 2021) and turn my attention to it.

Last week there was some argy-bargy in Jerusalem over Arab families being evicted by Jews. That got Israeli Arabs out demonstrating; that culminated in major riots on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. This is a holy place, especially to Muslims, as their ancient mosques and shrines have mostly survived there while Judaism’s ancient temples haven’t. Israeli police went into the holiest mosque to control the riot, which of course riled up the Arabs even more.

It hasn’t helped that last week saw the end of Ramadan, the Muslim holy month, immediately followed by the three-day festival of Eid al-Fitr. So for Muslims, religious passion was at its highest pitch this week—a sort of Muslim Easter.

Then the Hamas party that rules the Gaza Strip decided to join in the ructions by firing missiles into Israel’s towns and cities. This was terror-bombing, not strategic strikes. Israel naturally responded with air strikes on Gaza, strikes which were strategic, not just terroristic.

So, once again, we were off to the races.

The results of those missile and air strikes were considerably mixed. Israel’s Iron Dome system of missile interception seems to have done a good job, with less than ten percent of the Arab missiles getting through. Israeli air strikes, on the other hand, have offed several big-name Hamas leaders.

We are told, although evidence is hard to come by, that a lot of the Hamas missiles either blew up on launch or went up and then came down while still in Gaza, causing a lot of casualties. That aside, the official butcher’s bill for the week seems to be Israeli deaths in single digits, Gaza deaths about ten times as many. Given the random nature of the missile strikes, some of the Israeli deaths might have been Israeli Arabs; I haven’t seen any details on this.

There’s been a lot of background stuff helping to heat things up. The Trump administration moving our embassy to Jerusalem, brokering a peace deal between Israel and the United Arab Emirates, and curtailing cash aid to the Arab rulers of Gaza and the West Bank have raised the level of frustration among Arab militants.

Contrariwise, the April 7th announcement by Biden’s Secretary of State that we shall resume shoveling money into the Swiss bank accounts of the gangsters who run Gaza and the West Bank, has been taken as a encouraging signal that Uncle Sam is back in sucker mode.[The United States Restores Assistance for the Palestinians, Antony J. Blinken, April 7, 2021]

There’s politics, too, on both sides. Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu has been in an unstable position for some time now, and could use a patriotic boost. Hamas likewise, tired of playing second fiddle in the diplomatic game to the Fatah party running the West Bank, which is supposed to be in political union with Gaza, but which hasn’t allowed an election for fifteen years[Elections – Mapping Palestinian Politics – European Council on Foreign Relations].

And in still deeper background, there seems to have been slow-rising instability between Arabs and Jews in Israel itself. In the troubles of these last few days, synagogues have been burned by Arab mobs [Soldier viciously beaten in Jaffa, synagogue burned in Lod, as rioting deepens, Times of Israel, May 13, 2021] and Arabs dragged from their cars and beaten by Jewish mobs [ Mob ‘lynching of Arab’ aired live on Israeli TV , AFP, May 12, 2021]

Where is it all headed? The politicians and diplomats are quacking and bleating, of course, with talk about “de-escalating the violence” and “outreach with the Palestinian leadership.” [Biden official heading to Israel amid efforts to end Gaza fighting, by Jacob Magid, Times of Israel, May 12, 2021]

My guess: the mini-war will go on for a couple of weeks, then the diplomats will come to some agreement on suitable bribes to be paid, and then everything will quiet down for a few years until the next “Crisis in the Middle East!” Lather, rinse, repeat.

If I don’t sound terrifically engaged with this, that’s because I’m not. I’d rather be back on the Barcalounger with MTG and AOC.

There are, however, things to be said that are pertinent to us, to civic-minded Americans, so I’ll have a go at saying them.

It’s those strains between Israeli Arabs and Israeli Jews—that is, within Israel itself, not across its borders—that got my attention. In this week’s context the ill feeling isn’t hard to understand, but it’s been going on for a while, and apparently getting worse.

Sample headline from the Jerusalem Post, May 14th: Is Israel reaching a tipping point with internal clashes? Quote:

In October 2015, after a terror attack in Beersheba, a crowd lynched a bystander named Haftom Zarhum from Eritrea, claiming they thought he was a terrorist. In 2015, a mob in Majdal Shams attacked an ambulance and lynched a Syrian man who was wounded in fighting across the border and who the IDF was taking to a hospital. Druze accused the man of being a Jihadist involved in attacks on Druze in Syria.

(The Druze are an Arab minority practicing a non-Muslim religion).

Several American observers have remarked on the similarity in news coverage between the disturbances in Israel’s streets and those in our own—Antifa and Black Lives Matter goons smashing windows, beating up motorists, and so on.

• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: Diversity, Gaza, Israel/Palestine 

[Excerpted from the latest Radio Derb, now available exclusively through]

See, also, by Steve Sailer: Tories Smash Labour In Blue Collar By-election

I haven’t lived in England for thirty years now, and have been a U.S. citizen for nearly twenty, so I don’t have much interest in politics over there. I do browse some posts by British commentators, though, as part of my morning trawl through the internet looking for items of interest, and now and then something catches my eye—something I think is pertinent to our own politics here in the U.S.A.

This one didn’t just catch my eye; it had me jumping to my feet, fist-pumping to a degree that endangered the ceiling light, and emitting Rebel Yells.

The writer was James Delingpole. I thought I remembered that name as belonging to the ballet critic at the London Spectator circa 1980. Looking James Delingpole up, though, I see he was born in 1965, so that seems improbable. He’s married with three children, too, so … ballet critic? Eh, whatever, probably a false memory.

Mr. Delingpole certainly got my attention with Delingpole: Why I’m Not Voting Conservative on Thursday—Or, Indeed, Ever Again…, Breitbart, May 5 2021.

You need just a little background here.

Britain has two big political parties: the Conservative Party, a.k.a. the Tories, and the Labour Party. The Tories currently control Parliament under Party Leader and Prime Minister Boris Johnson. There are also some minor parties represented in Parliament, the most troublesome one currently being the Scottish Nationalists.

The Conservative Party naturally advertises itself as the more conservative of the two big parties, standing against radical change. The Labour Party was historically the party of, duh, Labour: of horny-handed sons of toil—coal miners, steel workers, ship-builders, and working-class folk in general. A lot of big names in the old Labour Party—for example Ernest Bevin, Foreign Secretary in the post-WW2 Labour government—came up through the ranks of the union movement.

Like our own Democratic Party, though, Britain’s Labour Party has in recent decades been taken over by gentry liberals. To the degree that unions still play a role, they are the fake “unions” of the public sector, lobbying not for a bigger share of the profits of capitalism, but for a bigger share of the public fisc.

A typical Labour member of parliament seventy years ago had started his working life as a coal miner; the typical one today drew his first paycheck as a lecturer in sociology at some minor college.

Well, Thursday this week there were elections over there. These mostly weren’t parliamentary elections. There was a national general election two years ago, and the next one isn’t due for another three years. Thursday’s elections were for regional and municipal positions—mayors, town councillors and such. You could think of it very approximately as like our mid-terms, although more heated than usual because last year’s elections were postponed on account of covid.

There was one parliamentary seat up for grabs Thursday: Hartlepool, a grimy seaport in the far northeast of England. (It’s fictional hometown of one of Britain’s most famous cartoon characters, the flat-capped, working-class loafer Andy Capp).

Hartlepool is old-school Labour, hasn’t had a Tory M.P. for sixty years.

The Labour M.P. resigned in March under a cloud of allegations of sexual harassment, so this was a special election to replace him.

What about this James Delingpole piece that I liked so much?

It thrust, and what will return an echo from the bosoms of American conservatives, is the pathetic uselessness of institutional Conservatism.

In Britain, institutional Conservatism means of course the Conservative Party, who have held power over there for the past eleven years.

You have to qualify that, and Delingpole does, by noting that for the first five of those years the Tories were in coalition with a junior partner, the Liberal Democrats, a sort of concentrated essence of gentry liberalism, so they were under some restraint. For the last six years, though the Tories have ruled supreme.

Delingpole’s beef is that those eleven years were, from a conservative point of view, an utter waste of time. The three big-“C” Conservative Prime Ministers accomplished nothing of a small-“c” conservative nature.

The only small-“c” conservative advance in those years was Brexit. That was by referendum, though, and against the inclinations of big-“C” Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron, who resigned when the referendum result came out.

The signature achievement of Cameron’s Prime Ministership was the legalization of homosexual marriage.

Brexit aside, Delingpole gives a wish-list of seven things that a small-“c” conservative person, eleven years ago, might have hoped for from a big-“C” Conservative government. Here’s his list. I’ve abbreviated the entries, with just a couple of short direct quotes.

  1. Control immigration.
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Britain, Conservative Movement 
John Derbyshire
About John Derbyshire

John Derbyshire writes an incredible amount on all sorts of subjects for all kinds of outlets. (This no longer includes National Review, whose editors had some kind of tantrum and fired him. He is the author of We Are Doomed: Reclaiming Conservative Pessimism and several other books. His most recent book, published by com is FROM THE DISSIDENT RIGHT (also available in Kindle).His writings are archived at